Kendrick Perkins on ESPN's NBA Countdown. Kendrick Perkins on ESPN’s NBA Countdown.

Kendrick Perkins confused viewers on NBA Countdown by saying a bird would fly backward if Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla’s brain was inside.

Yeah…Us, neither.

The discussion was around the Denver Nuggets’ 102-100 win over Boston on Friday.

“Here’s the thing, Joe Mazzulla,” began Perkins. “This is why I pick Michael Malone. They have two Joe Mazzullas. They have the one that got the philosophy of we’re going to get up more threes than you. And when they do, and they hit them, he looks great. Then you have the other Joe Mazzulla, who just stands over there, and you wonder, like, if you take his brain out and you put it in a bird, the bird is going to start flying backwards. You got that Joe Mazzulla.”

Perkins asked his fellow other members of the Countdown crew if they knew why he was saying that. You can hear an audible “no,” in the background — us too.

The statement itself is undeniably absurd. And it’s one that he’s made before. Perkins made these same comments about Kyrie Irving back in the height of the pandemic, suggesting that he had bird brain because he opposed the NBA’s bubble, as he served as the driving force behind the concerns of restarting the 2020 NBA season at Walt Disney World.

Here are those comments via MassLive:

“If you take Kyrie Irving’s brain and put it in a bird right now, guess what that bird is going to do,” Perkins said. “It’s going to fly backwards because Kyrie right now is confused, he’s showing his lack of leadership. Here it is: Kyrie, you have been on these conference calls over the last two months. You’re the vice president of the Players Association. You have been very involved in all this that’s taking place as far as whether we’re going to play or not. You’ve been on the phone and you voted to play!”

But beneath the absurdity lies a veiled criticism. Perkins is hinting at Mazzulla’s perceived inconsistency. He suggests that sometimes Mazzulla makes baffling decisions, decisions that seem to defy logic (hence the backwards-flying bird). This inconsistency, Perkins argues, is why the Celtics lack offensive structure and fail to get their players easy looks.

“He doesn’t get these guys easy looks,” Perkins explained. “Time and time again, we kept saying, attack the paint. You have so many guys that are great at cutting. They cannot continue to play AAU-style basketball all the time. You gotta have sets. The Denver Nuggets have sets. We know at times, yes, the two-man game is gonna happen (Nikola) Jokić and (Jamal )Murray, but it might lead to a back cut for Aaron Gordon out the corner. Like, you gotta have those things.

“And when I say the coaching matchup — and this when you get to the postseason — that matters. Michael Malone just showed us he can handle this type of situation.”

The Celtics aren’t going to change their philosophy. They live and die by the three, and they sure died by it on Friday, shooting just 14-of-44 (31.8 percent) from beyond the arc.

Perkins’ bird-brained anaolgy is a provocative, albeit unorthodox, way to highlight Mazzulla’s perceived inconsistencies and advocate for improved offensive strategies. Even if it’s not the most sophisticated analysis and it’s an analogy that he’s used before, it was still effective in sparking debate.

[Awful Announcing]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.